Fitness has been a way of life for Sonja Martin, 41, of Concord, Calif. But her experience at the UFC Gym in Concord has surpassed her expectations. Martin is a part of the gym’s Daily Ultimate Training (DUT) program.
Martin is not training to become a cage fighter. While the gym takes its roots from The Ultimate Fighting Championship ™, the gym really stands for “Ultimate Fitness Center.”
The DUT program is available everyday to all of its members who are “ultimate” members. Members find the class online they want to attend (there are few time options daily), reserve their spot and show up for a class — classes are capped around 20 people. Martin described the workouts as “an intense high resistance cardio workout.” And she loves it.
“I accidentally got involved with the training,” Martin joked. “I was told I would like it.” Martin gave it a try and has never looked back. She has been a part of the DUT program since she joined the gym when it opened at the end of 2009.
Martin and her family joined the UFC Gym because she was tired of commuting 45 minutes away to a different gym where she trained in Muay Thai. She signed up when the gym was opening and was able to tour the facility and see what amenities and classes they offered. “It has unlimited options and that’s what I enjoy the most,” she said.
She had belonged to other gyms in the past but said they never seemed to cater to the masses. “They had a cookie cutter regiment for everyone,” Martin said. “What I’ve noticed at UFC Gym is that they tailor to their members.” After being around fitness most of her life, Martin said she is still being challenged with her fitness routine and it’s a pleasant surprise.
Martin works out five to six days a week at her gym, alternating between the DUT program, personal training and her Muay Thai. Her routine has allowed her to maintain a healthy weight.
The “DUT Crew,” as its sometimes called, is a close bunch; they refer to each other as family. The crew participated last year in the “Tough Mudder” challenge known as the “toughest challenge on the planet.” Over 40 members from the UFC Gym participated in this 10-12 mile obstacle course. “All of us finished,” Martin said. “We all stuck by each other and blew it out of the water!”
The group regularly communicates outside of class on a regular basis. They e-mail workouts others may have missed or talk on the phone. The members don’t know what to expect when they show up for a class. It’s usually some kind of full body workout but there isn’t a “typical” routine.
The instructors are well trained and know how to motivate their members. Members are motivating each other thriving on each other’s energy as well as the instructor’s.
Members keep their own records of how they’re improving, and instructors will go back to the same timed interval workouts so members can see their progress.
In Martin’s opinion, the biggest thing missing from her gym is a nutritionist. “The trainers are great, but unless you have a nutrition background you’re not experienced to give out individualized meal plans.” UFC Gym does offer members an online program to track their diet.
Does your gym offer your members access to a nutritionist? Proper diet is about 80 percent of a member’s results. Many members don’t know how important nutrition is to losing weight. If they aren’t seeing the desired results, why would they want to continue to workout at your gym? What about offering group nutrition classes to educate your members on some of the basics?
Martin has found a great sense of camaraderie within her gym. Does some kind of community exist at your club? Members who feel connected to your club will automatically have a sense of loyalty. What can you do to bring members together? -CS
By Ali Cicerchi